A little over 24 hours after the race. Physically am doing pretty well. No blisters or lost toenails, which is an improvement from previous runs. Pretty stiff and I think I have "runner's knee" but that should clear up in about a week or so. I actually feel a little better than I did when I had trained, but I'm sure that is a fluke.
Really, I think most people could complete a marathon. It's just a matter of how fast. I respect people that put in the dedicated training and qualify, but there are a lot of people out there who don't have the time. I wouldn't recommend doing one cold, but the level of training necessary isn't too arduous. If you think about it, the average fitness walking pace is about 15 minutes per mile. Translated that comes out to about 6.5 hours. Combining running and walking, I think most people would be able to cover 26.2 miles if they wanted to. Don't let the hype get to you.
As far as running as a bandit, I highly recommend it. Here's why:
- The race is accommodating to bandits, even though they don't advertise this. Seems to be about 2000 bandit runners per year. As long as you don't ever interfere with a qualified runner, bandits are accommodated. Even allowed to cross the finish line while many other marathons yank people without numbers.
- The other bandit runners are great. Most of them are in decent shape and pretty motivated to finish. Many of them have reasons beyond themselves for running, such as dedications. Very interesting group.
- The crowd is excellent. Most of the people watching along the route have been doing it for years and really get into it. They appreciate the bandits and know how to cheer. If you write your name on your shirt, everyone cheers for you. I did it one year, but actually preferred not to hear my name yelled out every 10 seconds for 26.2 miles.
- Patriot's Day is one of Boston's best days of the year ... it's enjoyable to be wrapped up in the whole experience.
- Boston is a straight shot, west to east. I hate doing loops and there is something satisfying about a destination run ... Hopkinton straight to downtown Boston.
- Varied refreshments. I would avoid the the offered shots.
There are a few threads out there about how bandits shouldn't run because they sully the qualified running field. I think those threads are way off base. None of the bandits I saw pretended to be qualified. They start at the end of the group, so don't get in the way and don't consume race services at the expense of qualified runners. We all know we haven't trained enough to be in the qualified field and frankly are ok with that.